LETTER: Does pandemic offer hope for society?

From reader Charles Jeanes

You will no doubt have a deluge of letters this week. I too will offer observations on the pandemic and our reactions.

I am learning much about homo sapiens, in this unprecedented (for me) situation, when we balance personal civil liberties with authority and a notion of the greater good. I resist limits on my autonomy. I know when there are reasons for it though.

When we pass through this, there will be many studies of how we acted, and the people with the data will use it to their ends. Were we obedient? Why or why not? How can our rulers ensure we line up when they need us to, as for a war?

I have several friends of spiritual bent, certain that this time of fear is a threshhold event, leading humanity to better ways of being human. More conscious, more compassionate, less materialistic, less obsessed with trivia. I wish I knew of a good historic example.

After World War I and the Spanish flu, some prophets said progress was at hand. The crash of 1929, Fascists, Nazis, Stalinists, followed. After World War II and the atom bomb, more predictions of a brave and better new world. You know the denoument. I heard optimism after 9/11 and after the Wall Street failures of 2008/09.

By all means, let us do our best to be better. And be realistic about “progress.”

I endorse D. Paetkau’s remark (“School board policy unfair,” Letters, March 19) that now is a time we find out our qualities. May we find we are worthy of esteem, not a disappointment for the optimists.

Charles Jeanes

Nelson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Nelson climbers raise racism awareness with video

Tula and Tosh Sherkat and Rossland director Liam Barnes collaborated on the video

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Sexologist likens face mask debate to condom debate: What can we learn from it?

Society’s approach to condom usage since the 1980s can be applied to face masks today, one expert says

Most Read